A University of Oklahoma Honors junior has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship. Kenneth Meador won the prestigious award based on his leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of “making a difference.” He is the seventh OU student to be honored with the national award since 2003.
“We are proud of Kenneth and his selection as a Truman Scholar,” said OU President David Boren. “His honor is well-deserved, and is another great example of the level of intellectual vitality at the University of Oklahoma.”
Truman Scholarship recipients must be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector. Each scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study.
Meador, the son of Thomas D. Meador III and Paula Meador, Gardner, Mass., holds a 3.98 grade-point average and is pursuing a major in political science. He has listed the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan as his top choices for graduate studies in a combined law degree and political science program. Meador plans to serve as an advocate for veterans throughout his career. Initially, he hopes to work with either the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Office, or Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America as a lobbyist or policy analyst. Eventually, he hopes to seek public office in the United States House of Representatives.
Meador joined the U.S. Army in 2002 and, after training as a combat medic, immediately became part of the invasion of Baghdad in 2003. He returned to Iraq in 2005 for a full year in the Sunni Triangle, and then came to the United States for an assignment at Fort Sill. Meador’s last deployment occurred in April 2008 for 15 months at Camp Bucca, Iraq. During his eight years of military service, he received the Combat Medical Badge, and five Army Commendation Medals.
Recently named an A.M. Cortez Ewing Fellow, Meador will intern this summer in Washington, D.C., in the office of Tom Cole, U.S. Congressman for the 4th District of Oklahoma. Other awards include the U.S. President’s Bronze Volunteer Service Award, the Newman Civic Fellowship Award, and the President’s Award for Academic Excellence at Oklahoma City Community College.
Following a summer internship with Organizing for America, Meador’s participation in Oklahoma politics became more intense, and he ran for a state Senate seat in 2011. Although unsuccessful in the race, he continued to be active in politics and served as a campaign consultant last summer until the November elections.
Currently a spokesman for Infant Crisis Services, Meador began volunteering with the nonprofit almost two years ago and continues to this day. His many hours of work brought him the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama. He has also volunteered as a tutor for City Care’s Whiz Kids.
Meador and his wife, Anita, are the parents of two sons, Brayden, 9 and Boston, 1.